from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To make up the constituent parts of; constitute or form.
  • intransitive verb To make or create by putting together parts or elements.
  • intransitive verb To create or produce (a literary or musical piece).
  • intransitive verb To make (oneself) calm or tranquil.
  • intransitive verb To settle or adjust; reconcile.
  • intransitive verb To arrange aesthetically or artistically.
  • intransitive verb Printing To arrange or set (type or matter to be printed).
  • intransitive verb To create a literary or musical piece.
  • intransitive verb Printing To set type.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To make or form by uniting two or more things; put together the parts of; form by framing, fashioning, or arranging.
  • In relation to literary authorship: as, to compose a sermon or a sonnet.
  • In relation to musical authorship: as, to compose a sonata.
  • In relation to artistic skill: as, to compose (arrange the leading features of) a picture, statue, group, etc.
  • In printing: To put into type; set the types for: as, to compose a page or a pamphlet.
  • To arrange in the composing-stick: set: as, to compose a thousand ems.
  • To form by being combined or united; be the substance, constituents, or elements of; constitute; make up: as, levies of raw soldiers compose his army; the wall is composed of bricks and mortar; water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen.
  • To bring into a composed state; calm; quiet; appease.
  • To settle; adjust; reconcile; bring into a proper state or condition: as, to compose differences.
  • To place or arrange in proper form; put into a settled state; arrange.
  • To dispose; put into a proper mood or temper for any purpose.
  • To practise composition, in any of the active senses of that word.
  • To come to an agreement; adjust differences; agree.
  • In painting, to combine or fall into a group or arrangement with artistic effect; admit of pleasing or artistic combination in a picture: as, the mountains composed well.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb obsolete To come to terms.
  • transitive verb To form by putting together two or more things or parts; to put together; to make up; to fashion.
  • transitive verb To form the substance of, or part of the substance of; to constitute.
  • transitive verb To construct by mental labor; to design and execute, or put together, in a manner involving the adaptation of forms of expression to ideas, or to the laws of harmony or proportion.
  • transitive verb To dispose in proper form; to reduce to order; to put in proper state or condition; to adjust; to regulate.
  • transitive verb To free from agitation or disturbance; to tranquilize; to soothe; to calm; to quiet.
  • transitive verb (Print.) To arrange (types) in a composing stick in order for printing; to set (type).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To make up the whole; to constitute.
  • verb transitive, nonstandard To comprise.
  • verb transitive or intransitive To construct by mental labor; to think up; particularly, to produce or create a literary or musical work.
  • verb reflexive To calm oneself down.
  • verb To arrange the elements of a photograph or other picture.
  • verb To settle (an argument, dispute etc.); to come to a settlement.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb calm (someone, especially oneself); make quiet
  • verb produce a literary work
  • verb form the substance of
  • verb put together out of existing material
  • verb make up plans or basic details for
  • verb write music


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English composen, from Old French composer, alteration (influenced by poser, to put, place) of Latin compōnere; see component.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French composer ("to compose, compound, adjust, settle"), from Latin componere ("to put together, compose"), from com- ("together") + ponere ("to put, place")


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